Campbell River United Church is facing the fall season with renewed faith and optimism, and a new minister.
The Rev. Sarah Fanning was welcomed by the congregation to her new ministry with them on July 1.
Rev. Fanning was born in Vancouver and raised there and in Ontario and Alberta. She grew up in a United Church family, took an undergraduate degree in psychology and entered the Masters Degree program in Religious Education at McMaster University. It was there that she started to hear that she might have a calling to ministry, but she needed to test that call through church work placements and training for hospital chaplaincy.
She was eventually led to the Master of Divinity degree program at Emmanuel College in Toronto to work towards the goal of becoming an ordained minister. Her training included an internship in northern Saskatchewan at Ethelton and Melfort.
Since her ordination in 2001, Rev. Fanning has served Ontario congregations in Thamesford, Don Mills and Milton. After relocating to Alberta, she served in Calgary, Red Deer, Innisfail and Lacombe. She is married to John Crowdis, another United Church minister, and has two children at home. In her downtime she enjoys family time, singing in choirs, knitting and crocheting, Harry Potter, Lego, movies, and reading the dictionary for fun.
Campbell River United Church has encountered many challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Services have been online only on Zoom since March 2020. Rev. Fanning’s leadership marks the beginning of a time of recovery and new opportunities.
Regarding her new ministry in Campbell River, she says, “I’m delighted to be working with CRUC and joining them for worship, education opportunities, and reaching out to the wider community.”
With the relaxing of restrictions related to church gatherings, the church returned to worshipping in their building on Sept. 12. Guidelines are in place to assure the safety of everyone attending. Prior to reopening, a significant amount of work was done to both the grounds and the sanctuary interior, including a new heating and ventilation system and a thorough cleaning.
Campbell River United Church continues to serve the community through the Saturday soup kitchen and a breakfast program on school mornings for Pinecrest Elementary School students.
The church is located at the corner of Pinecrest and South Birch. Worship on Sunday mornings is at 10 a.m. and all are welcome. The church website is www.crunited.ca . You can contact the administrator or minister by phone at 250-286-0431 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .